Psalms 31

Listen to Psalms 31
1 1In you, O LORD, do I 2take refuge; 3let me never be put to shame; in your 4righteousness deliver me!
2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be 5a rock of 6refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your 7name's sake you lead me and guide me;
4 you 8take me out of 9the net they have hidden for me, for you are my 10refuge.
5 11Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, 12faithful God.
6 I 13hate[a] those who pay 14regard to worthless 15idols, but I trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have 16known the distress of my soul,
8 and you have not 17delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in 18a broad place.
9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am 19in distress; 20my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and 21my bones waste away.
11 Because of all my adversaries I have become 22a reproach, especially to my 23neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street 24flee from me.
12 I have been 25forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like 26a broken vessel.
13 For I 27hear the whispering of many-- terror on every side!-- 28as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I 29trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
15 My 30times are in your hand; 31rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16 32Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!
17 O LORD, 33let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go 34silently to Sheol.
18 Let the lying lips be mute, which 35speak 36insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.
19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, 37in the sight of the children of mankind!
20 In 38the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you 39store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously 40shown his steadfast love to me when I was in 41a besieged city.
22 I had said in my 42alarm,[b] "I am 43cut off from 44your sight." But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all you his 45saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly 46repays the one who acts in pride.
24 47Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

Psalms 31 Commentary

Chapter 31

Confidence in God. (1-8) Prayer in trouble. (9-18) Praise for God's goodness. (19-24)

Verses 1-8 Faith and prayer must go together, for the prayer of faith is the prevailing prayer. David gave up his soul in a special manner to God. And with the words, ver. 5, our Lord Jesus yielded up his last breath on the cross, and made his soul a free-will offering for sin, laying down his life as a ransom. But David is here as a man in distress and trouble. And his great care is about his soul, his spirit, his better part. Many think that while perplexed about their worldly affairs, and their cares multiply, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; but we are the more concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage. The redemption of the soul is so precious, that it must have ceased for ever, if Christ had not undertaken it. Having relied on God's mercy, he will be glad and rejoice in it. God looks upon our souls, when we are in trouble, to see whether they are humbled for sin, and made better by the affliction. Every believer will meet with such dangers and deliverances, until he is delivered from death, his last enemy.

Verses 9-18 David's troubles made him a man of sorrows. Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours. David's friends durst not give him any assistance. Let us not think it strange if thus deserted, but make sure of a Friend in heaven who will not fail. God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own. He prophesies the silencing of those that reproach and speak evil of the people of God. There is a day coming, when the Lord will execute judgment upon them. In the mean time, we should engage ourselves by well-doing, if possible, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Verses 19-24 Instead of yielding to impatience or despondency under our troubles, we should turn our thoughts to the goodness of the Lord towards those who fear and trust in Him. All comes to sinners through the wondrous gift of the only-begotten Son of God, to be the atonement for their sins. Let not any yield to unbelief, or think, under discouraging circumstances, that they are cut off from before the eyes of the Lord, and left to the pride of men. Lord, pardon our complaints and fears; increase our faith, patience, love, and gratitude; teach us to rejoice in tribulation and in hope. The deliverance of Christ, with the destruction of his enemies, ought to strengthen and comfort the hearts of believers under all their afflictions here below, that having suffered courageously with their Master, they may triumphantly enter into his joy and glory.

Cross References 47

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Masoretic Text; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome You hate
  • [b]. Or in my haste

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.